Sometimes the easiest things that can grow a business are also the most obvious. From a young age, we learn to say “thank you” when receiving a gift from someone. In the business world, each time a patient refers your practice to a friend, or posts a positive review online, your practice receives a gift. Don’t forget to acknowledge this!

Responding to positive reviews shows that your practice has good manners. It can also help you learn more about what patients love about your business and build rapport. When you thank patients for their review, get personal. If their comments were about something specific you’ve been focusing on with your staff, thank them for noticing.

If the positive review isn’t online, send the patient a thank you card and personalize the note by having the entire staff sign their names on the card in different color ink.

When replying to a positive online review, your response should only be to say thank you and let them know you care. Don’t make any attempts to invite them to a future event or sell them anything. Recent website rule changes even determine the offer of a future discount as a “solicited” online review. Solicited reviews are often confused with fake ones and filtered from many of your pages by automated software.

However, there are ways to let your patients know you’re on social media without being overly solicitous:

Don’t Be Pushy: There is an important distinction between “Hey, write a review about me on Yelp,” [BAD] and “Hey, check us out on Yelp!” [GOOD].

Set Up a Check-in Offer or Deal: Offers can make your practice look more appealing to a prospective patient. Additionally, whenever someone checks into a business, she is often prompted to leave a review and rate the business.

Place a “Find Us on X” Sign or Sticker: Request a free sticker from Yelp by completing this online form and visit for other free resources for your place of business.

As patients continue to leave positive reviews, never be too busy to say thank you. Online engagement also shows prospective patients what they can expect from you and can help you win new business.

Samantha Toth is the resident Marketing Rockstar for Innereactive Media, a full-service marketing company specializing in the optical industry, in Grand Rapids, MI.

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